UN rights council president to name members of settlements inquiry

A delegation from UN Watch participated together with other NGOs in a Geneva meeting today with UN Human Rights Council President Laura Dupuy Lassere. Peter Splinter of Amnesty International asked about the fact-finding mission on settlements, which was established in March but whose commissioners have not yet been appointed. The President replied that consultations are underway. She hopes to present the names during the 3-week council session that opens this Monday, so that they can be appointed at the end, and the commission can start its work.

I find it odd that the president plans to present the names to the council — the relevant resolution empowers her to name them on her own, as has always been done in the past. Either it’s a stalling tactic (Haaretz had earlier reported that the US asked the UN to delay the appointments), or the president wants to share responsibility for the decision. The council’s infamous 2009 Goldstone Report  included one commissioner who declared Israel guilty in advance, and another who said that British foreign policy was controlled by the Jews.
When this new settlement inquiry’s mandate was created in March, Israel severed its ties with the 47-nation council, as well as with the affiliated office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Similarly, the U.S. delegation said it was “deeply troubled to be presented with yet another biased, politicized, and one-sided resolution that launches an international investigation of Israel.  This initiative is reminiscent of previous missions authorized by this Council, which failed to acknowledge that there are two sides in this conflict.”

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